“FAK !!” Strawberry-Banana Morgan

Friday Afternoon Kocktail time!  Made up a slushy Strawberry-Banana Morgan cocktail, was really really good!  

Strawberry-Banana Morgan

–  3 oz Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum

–  3 oz Banana Liqueuer

–  a whole container of Fresh Strawberries (reserve a few whole ones with their green tops for deco), washed and cut up (put them in the freezer for an hour or two)

–  Lots of Ice (2-3 cups)

In a blender, add the very cold strawberries and blend until pureed (if you want, I pressed them through a sieve, cuz I don’t appreciate the seeds stuck in my teeth!).  Return the strawberries to the blender if you pressed them and throw in the Spiced Rum, Banana Liqueur and the ice (I like lots of ice, I used more than a cup, probably 2.5 cups).  Blend and blend away.  Once it is thoroughly blended pour into some pretty glasses and decorate with your whole strawberries….P-R-E-T-T-Y!!  and yummers to boot!

Strawberry-Banana Morgan

Strawberry-Banana Morgan

FAK !! ChaCha Cherry Sangria

“Friday Afternoon Kocktails” time…  Made a delicious refreshing Sour Cherry Sangria.  Yum yum, this hit the spot Friday afternoon after work, a tall glass loaded with ice, sitting by the pool, chilling with my Sangria, on a hot sunny day, I couldn’t ask for more.  Cheers!

Sour Cherry Sangria

– 1 Bottle of Zinfandel (750ml)

– 3 Cups of FRESH squeezed Orange Juice (I used about 4 Really Big oranges).

– 2 Cups Club Soda or 7-Up  (I like the fizzy and I used 7-Up)

– 1/4 Cup Triple Sec

– 1 Jar Sour Pitted Cherries, juice drained  (NOT Maraschino)

– 1/2 Cup of the Sour Cherry Juice (from the jar)

– Several Slices of Oranges  (keep a few to decorate your glasses)

– Several Slices of Lemons

– Lots of Ice (for the glasses not the pitcher)

In a glass pitcher add the Zinfandel, the fresh squeezed Orange Juice, Club Soda or 7-Up, Triple Sec, Sour Cherries, Sour Cherry Juice, Orange and Lemon slices.  Stir well and refrigerate until very cold.  In a tall glass, fill with ice, pour in Sangria, decorate the rim with a few orange slices…Enjoy!  Simply refreshing !!

Cherry Sangria

Cherry Sangria

“FAK!” Pina Coladas

“FAK !”   I hope to have a recipe every Friday for our “Friday Afternoon Kocktails”.  It is nice to just sit and relax and have a cocktail (you can make it virgin, they still taste amazing even if you don’t add the alcohol) and cocktails look soooo pretty too!  Weather has been rather hot here to say the least,  the humidity just makes it more unbearable.  At least I have some comfort in the enjoyment of my pool and a nice cold  refreshment makes it so much more enjoyable.  My recipe for my cold frothy Pina Coladas.  You can hold the alcohol or not, your choice.  I opted for the booze (Oooops!).


–  2  Cups Fresh Pineapple (Blended and pureed and put into ice cube trays, Freeze.  Do this a day ahead)

–  3 oz Rum  (I used 1 oz Bacardi White Rum and 2 oz Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum)

–  1/2 Cup Coconut Cream

–  1 Cup Pineapple Juice

–  1 Cup Crushed Ice

–  Fresh Slices of Pineapple and Maraschino Cherries (on the stem if you can find them) for Decoration and eating enjoyment  🙂

Put all the ingredients into a blender and Blend, Blend, Blend…  Serve immediately in a tall glass and decorate with Pineapple slice (I forgot to keep myself a few slices of fresh pineapple, o0yyy!  But I did add the cherries heehee).  A cute little paper parasol was missing, oh well next time.

Cold Frothy Pina Colada Drink

Cold Frothy Pina Colada Drink

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti

One dish meals,  I think they are my favorite.  So much less clean up after dinner and more of relaxing time.  Tonight I prepared spinach stuffed manicotti.   You can prepare a few things ahead of time for this recipe, like making a fresh spaghetti sauce, chop up the onion, wash and chop up the spinach and prepare your pan to receive the shells after boiling.  I had my homemade spaghetti sauce in the freezer (I do a lot of cooking and prep and freeze to have homemade meals rather than make a fast food pit stop), so I simply took it out of the freezer the night before to thaw in the refrigerator.  So lets get to it…

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti               Makes about 20 stuffed shells.

–   1 small onion, chopped

–  2 cloves garlic

–  1 T. Olive Oil

–  1 package Manicotti shells (I had 20 shells)

–  9×13 inch baking dish, lightly oiled  (I used a glass lasagna dish)

–  Prepare a cookie sheet lined with foil and oiled lightly with olive oil.  (This prevents your shells from sticking to the pan while they cool).

In a small pan on medium heat, add olive oil.  Add the onions and garlic and sautée for a few minutes.  Remove from heat.  In a large pot, fill with water adding a drop of olive oil to the water and bring to a boil.  Add the manicotti shells and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes.  They should be somewhat firm, do not overcook or they will break when you are filling the shells.  When they are done, remove the shells to your prepared cookie sheet, in a single layer, do not put them on top of one another, they will stick together.  Set aside to cool.  Begin your Ricotta mixture.

Ricotta Mixture:

–  1 tub of Ricotta (625 grams or  2 1/2 cups)

–  1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese  (grated fresh or the container kind)

–  4 to 6 cups Spinach, chopped

–  1 large pastry bag fitted with just a coupler or a freezer bag with the corner cut off about  1″  wide.

–  Prepared homemade spaghetti sauce or you can use a store bought variety  (I used about 3 – 4 cups)

–  1/4 cup heavy cream 35%

–  1 cup shredded Mozzerella Cheese

In a large bowl, add the reserved onions and garlic, Ricotta, Parmesan Cheese and the Spinach and mix well until fully combined.  Set aside.   Add your spaghetti sauce to a pan and heat.  When the sauce is hot, add the heavy cream and stir until combined.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spoon about 1-2 cups of your sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, spreading it to all the sides, make sure it is a thick enough layer.  Take your pastry bag fitted with the coupler and fill the bag with the Ricotta mixture.  Begin to fill your Manicotti shells, careful not to break any by overstuffing, fill one side halfway and then turn your shell and fill the other end.  Place your shell in the baking dish on top of the sauce and repeat these steps until all your shells are filled and in the baking dish.  They should be in one layer side by side not on top of one another.  Ladle some more sauce on top of the shells, be generous.  Top with the shredded Mozzerella Cheese.  Put in the preheated oven, uncovered, and bake for about 30 minutes.  When you remove your Manicotti from the oven, let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with crusty bread and a wonderful salad.  Delish!

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti.

Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti.

Forgot to take a picture when they were baked….Oooops!




Shamrock Shake

Living in Quebec, I had a hard time finding these Milkshakes, after receiving several requests to “pick me one up on your way home please”.  Unfortunately, the McD’s around here don’t know what a Shamrock Shake is….Oooops!  So the next alternative was to make one myself.  I have never had a Shamrock Shake so I can’t compare.   I enjoyed this frothy cold minty delight.  


–   2 Cups Whole Milk 

–   1/4 Cup 35% Cream

–   6-8 Large Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream (I used 8, I like it thick!)

–   1 teaspoon Pure Peppermint Extract

–   Several drops of green food coloring

–   ColdWhipped topping

–   Shaved chocolate for topping

–   Maraschino Cherries  (one with stems would have been even cuter)

You know what to do…Throw it all into a blender and process until smooth.  Top with some whipped topping, shaved chocolate and a cherry.  Voila!  You’re homemade Shamrock Shake.  Who needs McDonald’s anyways.  LOL!

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The Ultimate French Toast

French Toast.  One of my favorite breakfast items.  Although breakfast is not my favorite meal of the day, I do love French Toast for Brunch.  Fills me up all the way to dinner time.  Here is my recipe for the ultimate of French Toasts!  


–  Thick sliced bread or Leftover French Bread, sliced (I had no french bread, I think leftover crusty bread is best)

–  2 Eggs

–  1/2 Cup Whole Milk (you can use any milk)

–  2 T. Plain Yogurt

–  1/4 t. ground Cinnamon

–  1/4 t. ground Nutmeg

–  Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar for sprinkling

–  Confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional, I think it looks pretty)

–  The best 100% pure Maple Syrup

Heat a pan on medium.  In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, yogurt and spices.  Whisk well until fully combined.  Add a pat of butter or margarine and swirl around in pan until melted.  Dip your slice of bread into the egg mixture and get it all covered with the liquid.  Put bread in pan and sprinkle with a little of the muscovado sugar.  Cook both sides until you hear a hollow sound when the bread is tapped lightly.  You only need a sprinkling of the muscovado sugar on one side.  Transfer to a plate and add some fresh fruit slices or berries.  Pour a little maple syrup and dust with confectioners sugar.  Bonne  appetito!

Ultimate French Toast. Perfect for a brunch!

Ultimate French Toast. Perfect for a brunch!

Magic Soup Broth

The cold just does not want to go away… I don’t mind it so much, I do many winter activities, so on those humdrum days, being outdoors is what I love, even in -26 temperatures, Brrr!   When I am indoors, cooking and baking keeps me busy during the long winter months.  One of my favorite things is SOUP!  I love soup, any soup.  I especially love coming home after a long day of snowshoeing or skiing and having a hot bowl of delicious soup.  I have a basic broth that I use for all my soup bases.  When I am feeling like chicken, I add a roasting chicken to the pot, feeling beefy?  I take out my cross rib roast bones and beef shank bones.  I also love a vegetarian soup, so no bones, just a whole lot of vegetables.  I never throw away my chicken carcasses or beef bones, they make the most delicious soup broth.  I also have on hand potato water (you know that potato water you used to boil your potatoes?  Don’t throw it down the drain, save it and put it in freezable containers, it keeps for a good 3 months.  Even that vegetable water you use to cook your veggies, keep it!).  Here is my basic MAGIC broth recipe.

Turkey MeatbalL Soup using basic chicken broth.

Turkey MeatbalL Soup using basic chicken broth.

Magic Broth

In a very large stock pot, fill the pot halfway with filtered water.  Throw in the following;

– About 4 large washed and rinsed carrots cut up in chunks

– About 5 celery stalks washed and rinsed with the leaves on, cut in chunks

– about 3 small onions cut up in chunks

– Add 1 Cup Potato Water (reserved from an earlier cooking)

– Add 1 cup of vegetable water (reserved from an earlier cooking, can be any mix of vegetable water).

– Add about 3 large Bay Leafs (fresh is best, but dried is fine to use as well).

This is the part where you decide what kind of soup you are making, Chicken? Beef? Vegetarian?

Add the following ingredients for which you prefer:


– Whole Roasting Chicken or frozen chicken bones, whole roasting chicken is nice, because you can cut up the cooked chicken and add to your soup.

– Assorted Fresh Herbs.  For chicken I like Rosemary, Thyme, Basil or Oregano, choose what you like.  Fresh is best, but you can go ahead and use dried if that is what you have on hand.

Now cook this up on medium heat for at least 2 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.  Let cool.  Carefully strain the broth into another large pot.  Keep the chicken, remove skin and cut up into pieces to use in the soup. Reserve the meat.  Discard the vegetables.  Put the broth back into the stock pot and cover.  Refrigerate overnight.  The next day, scoop any fat that has surfaced to the top, should be very easy to remove, it is a hard film on top of your broth.  Discard.  Return pot to stove and add fresh vegetables cut into bite size pieces.  I add the following:

– 1 to 2 cups sliced carrots

– 1 to 2 cups sliced celery

– 1 to 2 cups turnip, cut into bite size chunks

– I add a few bunches of each Fresh Herb or 1 T. of Dried:  Basil, Oregano, Rosemary.

– 1 T. cracked black pepper

Cook on medium heat until vegetables are cooked, still firm, not overcooked and mushy.  You want them a little on the hard side.  Just before the vegetables are cooked, add:

– Add your reserved poultry pieces.

– 1 Cup Corn Niblets

At this point I ladle my soup into freezable containers and cool completely in refrigerator overnight and put in freezer the next day.  If I am serving the soup, I add some Tortellini, or noodles or rice.  The amount depends on the servings I have.  I only add my noodles or rice etc… when I am actually serving the soup, do not add it to the soup and freeze, the water content in the soup makes it go mushy, same as for potatoes, I only add this when I am actually serving the soup.  *Variations:  I rolled small turkey meatballs and added it to the vegetable cooking time point to make a turkey meatball soup.   Cook until meatballs are cooked through. I also added about 1 cup sliced cabbage.  **When adding vegetables like spinach or broccoli, add at the last minute of cooking as they cook quickly.

Chicken Tortellini Soup using chicken broth base.

Chicken Tortellini Soup using chicken broth base.


I made a Beef Minestrone Soup.  So whatever vegetables or seasonings you want to add is all up to you. For Beef, add the following:

– Beef Shank, Saved Cross Rib Bones, Blade Roast (I throw it all in!).

– Assorted Fresh Herbs or 1 T. Dried:  Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, Marjoram.

– 1 T. cracked black pepper

Now cook this on medium heat.  If you are using previously cooked meat and bones only cook for about an hour.  If you are using fresh uncooked meat, cook until the meat is cooked through and still tender.  Do not overcook it!  

Follow the same procedure for straining the broth as the poultry.  Cool the meat and cut up in bite size pieces, reserve. The next day, add the following:

–  2 Cups Sliced Carrots

–  2 Cups Sliced Celery

– 2 Cups Turnip, cut into bite size chunks

Cook until slightly hard but not mushy.  Add the following:

– Reserved meat pieces

– 1 Cup Corn Niblets

– 1 Cup Red Kidney Beans

Just before serving throw in a big bunch of washed and rinsed Baby Spinach, cooks in 2 minutes.  You want it a bright green.

Beef Minestrone Soup using beef broth base.

Beef Minestrone Soup using beef broth base.


Follow the above recipe but just OMIT any poultry or beef.  Any vegetable can be used to make your basic broth.  I throw everything I can get my hands on.  Squashes, parsnips, sweet potato, and of course good old carrots, celery, turnip.  I always add potatoes 1/2 hour before serving, makes a good staple.  I never add potatoes to my containers to freeze and they always end up mushy, yuck!  Any kind of Herbs can be used, fresh or dried.  Try whatever vegetables, herbs, spices, toppings and sides that suit your fancy.  A hot bowl of homemade soup and crusty bread after a day of winter activities hits the spot! Most importantly, cook, experiment and simply have fun. 


Breakfast Crepes with Fruit

Made some delicious crepes last week and wanted to share the recipe.  It was fast and easy (okay maybe washing and slicing the fruit took a little time, but deliciousness is worth it!).  Here is the recipe,

Breakfast Crepes with Fruit

2 Large Eggs  

3/4 Cup Homogenized Milk (3.25%)

1/2 Cup Water

1 t. Vanilla

1/4 t. Cinnamon

1 Cup Flour

3 T. Melted Butter (+ some for pan)

Assorted Fresh Fruit, cut-up in small pieces  (I used Strawberry, Banana & Pineapple)  Any fruit would be great  🙂

Whipping Cream 35% for filling.  (about 1 cup)

DIRECTIONS:  Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Transfer your crepe batter into a covered bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.  This allows for the bubbles to subside, so the crepes are less likely to tear during cooking.  Can be kept in refrigerator up to 48 hours. Meanwhile, prepare all your fruit to fill the crepes and whip up the the whipping cream.  Heat a non-stick pan.  Add some butter to coat the pan.  Add about 1 T. of the batter to the center of the pan and swirl around quickly to form a large circle, batter is thin and you should easily be able to do this, but do it quickly.  You can also decide on how big or small you want your crepes by decreasing or increasing your Tablespoon amount of batter.  Cook for about 30 seconds and flip the crepe, cook for another 10-15 seconds.  I like mine a deep golden color.  Remove the cooked crepe to a cutting board with lined paper towel to cool. Continue cooking all your crepes.  When all your crepes are cooled, take one crepe and spread some whipped topping, add some fruit and roll up, Voila!  so easy. Crepes can be stacked and stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer up to two months.  I stack my crepes between parchment paper when storing in the freezer.  When defrosting your crepes from the freezer, allow them to completely defrost before separating papers.  *If you want to make a crepe for filling with eggs or veggies, simply omit the vanilla and cinnamon.  Crepes are not just for breakfast, these fruit filled crepes make an excellent dessert!  If you want to go crazy, drizzle some melted chocolate over top your fruit filled crepes.  Slurrrrp!

Cut up your desired fruit.

Cut up your desired fruit.


Refrigerated batter.

Refrigerated batter.


Swirl batter in pan quickly to form a thin circle.

Swirl batter in pan quickly to form a thin circle.


Cook 30 seconds on one side, flip and cook another 10-15 seconds on other side.

Cook 30 seconds on one side, flip and cook another 10-15 seconds on other side.


Crepe Fillings

Crepe Fillings


Devour Me Ready Crepes !!

Devour Me Ready Crepes !!

This recipe has been adapted from:

Cabbage Rolls

Who likes cabbage rolls?  I like cabbage rolls, very much so. I know I know, the smell of cooking cabbage, if you can just forget about that for 20 minutes they taste absolutely delicious!  On the menu today, Cabbage Rolls!  They are very simple to make and do not have many ingredients, you probably have everything on hand, well maybe except the cabbage?!  Here we go…


1 medium to large size head of cabbage

1-2 lbs extra lean beef hamburger 

1 Egg, slightly beaten

1 cup of rice (converted, not the quick cooking kind)

1 Can Heinz Tomato Juice 1.36L (The can with less sodium)

Salt and Pepper


In a large bowl, combine your hamburger meat, the slightly beaten egg, the rice and salt and pepper.  Mix well and set aside.  Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-med so it is simmering.  Cut off the hard core of your cabbage and put the cabbage in the simmering water for about 10 minutes then turn heat to low.  Your cabbage leaves should easily pull off, be careful not to tear any. Place them on a large plate and begin to make your cabbage roll ups.  Take a leaf and cut the hard piece (in the center of leaf)  off on each leaf in a v-shape (see picture). Place about 1 Tablespoon of the meat mixture on the leaf and begin rolling up. Make sure you wrap so no meat is exposed and they are tight.  Secure it with one toothpick (you only need one toothpick so try hard not to use 3 or 4,  like I did my first time making these, lol!) Place on a plate and continue making your rolls until all your leaves are used.  I always have extra of the meat mix so I make meatballs with the leftovers.  In a large saucepan, add your Heinz tomato juice.  Now place all your meatballs into the juice, and next your cabbage rolls.  Keep your heat on low-medium, not too high and cook until the meatballs are cooked through.  The juice will thicken up on it’s own.  An easy, simple and pretty quick meal.  Don’t forget, make extra so you can put in the freezer, they freeze very well.

Beef hamburger, Rice, Salt & Pepper.

Beef hamburger, Rice, Salt & Pepper.

Cut the hard membrane out of the cabbage in a V-Shape, makes it easier for rolling.

Cut the hard membrane out of the cabbage in a V-Shape, makes it easier for rolling.

Cooke until meatballs are cooked through.

Cooke until meatballs are cooked through.

Simple, Quick & Very Tasty Too!

Simple, Quick & Very Tasty Too!


Tender Beef Stew

Temperatures are mild here, but the sun is nowhere to be seen  😦

It’s a cloudy damp snowy day.  I guess I will do a little cooking and whip up a tender beef stew, AudiRose way…

Crock Pot Tender Beef Stew

3 lbs beef, cubed (I use a blade roast)

1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tspn. Sea Salt

1/4 tspn. Crushed Black Pepper

2 Tblspns. Olive Oil

1 Tblspn. Butter

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat.  In a large bowl (or zip-lock bag) add flour, salt and pepper.  Coat the beef cubes with the flour.  Add the beef cubes to the skillet and only cook the beef just until it turns a slight brown, do not cook the meat, just change the red colour to a pinky brown.  Overcooking your meat will result in you having to chew on tough meat, and no one wants that!  Set aside. *Keep your pan, do not wash it, as you will use this to sauté your onions and garlic in this pan using the beef remnants.

Now prepare the following:

1 Cup Carrots, Sliced (not too thick)

1 Cup Turnip, Cubed (not too big)

About 6 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed (not too big)

Salt and Pepper

Add all your veggies to the crock pot and sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.

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Prepare your broth for the stew using the pan you used for browning the beef.  Add to the pan,

3 Tblspns. Butter

Once the butter has melted, add:

3 sliced Onions (I did mine in big chunks cuz some people are onion haters here boo)

2 Cloves minced Garlic

Sauté for a few minutes and add,

1 tspn. Thyme

1 tspn. Parsley

1/2 tspn. Allspice

Stir well combining onions and garlic, then add to the pan:

2 Cups Vegetable Broth

1 Cup Red Wine (I use whatever I have in my fridge, this time I used Dao Meia Encosta, a wonderful Portuguese Red Wine)

2-3 Bayleaf

*Mushrooms can also be added at this point, but I didn’t have any on hand.

Now add your beef cubes to the crock pot and pour the broth wine mixture over the meat and vegetables, add the Bayleaf to the top.  Put the lid on the crock pot and cook for about 30 minutes on the high setting and then for approximately 5-6 hours on the low setting. Check your meat, you do not want to overcook it.  

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When the last 1/2 hour of cooking arrives, whisk together

1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth, warmed

1/2 Cup Heinz Ketchup

3 Tblspns. All-Purpose Flour

Add this flour mixture to the crock pot and slowly stir it in to thicken up the wine broth.

In a microwavable container, add 1/2 cup frozen peas and 1/2 cup frozen corn with some water and microwave or a few minutes.  Add to the crock pot. Continue cooking for about 2 more minutes. Serve with some garlic toast!

Tender Beef Stew.

Tender Beef Stew  🙂